Dudley, Miller Lead Lady Bobcats

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 18, 2005

Times-Journal Correspondent

UNIONTOWN – Junior point guard Venicia Dudley outscored the visiting Shades Mountain Christian Lady Eagles 14 to 13 in the first quarter to spark the R. C. Hatch Lady Bobcats in their 73-48 sub-regional win.

Dudley went on to score 22 points in the first half. Senior guard Sierra Miller made sure that the Lady Eagles didn’t get back into the game, knocking down five triples in the game.

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“I think we played quite well tonight,” said Hatch coach Walter Abraham.

The Lady Bobcats advance to the regionals in Mobile for the third straight year and their fifth appearance in seven years.

Hatch started the game scoring seven straight points and opened a 15-4 advantage with less than three minutes left in the first quarter. Dudley had 11 of the 15 points.

The first quarter ended with the Lady Bobcats ahead 25-13.

The Lady Eagles tried to battle back, getting as close as eight points in the second quarter, as Hatch got into foul trouble.

But Miller’s consecutive 3-pointers put the Lady Bobcats back up by double digits. Hatch went into the locker room at the half ahead 39-25. Miller scored 11 first-half points.

SMC opened the third quarter with six straight points to close the gap to eight. Dudley committed her fourth foul in the process just two-and-a-half minutes into the quarter and had to head to the bench.

Miller stepped up to knock down two 3-pointers to cap a 9-2 run to put the Lady Bobcats up by 15 with 2:18 showing on the clock. The quarter ended with the Lady Bobcats out in front, 53-36.

The 17-point lead was too much for the Lady Eagles to recover.

“We didn’t play well at all tonight,” said a disgruntled Shades Mountain coach Kelly Hill. “Turnovers hurt us early and they killed us from the 3-point line. Hatch is a top notch team. We got beat by a good team tonight, but we knew we had our hands full coming in.”

“Our team played good defense in the first half,” Abraham said after the game. “We had to make some adjustments when we started to get into foul trouble.”

Dudley finished with a game-high 26 points while Miller added 24. Junior forward Ahjah Mitchell contributed 10 points, 12 rebounds and six steals.

The Lady Bobcats’ next game will be Monday against Bayside Academy at the University of South Alabama. Game time is 1 p.m.